A wethered, run down barn stands about 200 feet from Solex’s fancy ranch home in Franklin, Tennessee. This barn’s seen better days, no doubt, and that’s the allure for Solex. Working out in fancy gyms with dipshit people have lost their appeal for Solex. He needs something raw, authentic and untamed, and this grimey, gritty, hole in the wall is exactly what he needs to get his focus back. Solex stands in the center of the dimly lit bar, specks of dust glow in the rays of sunlight as they cut through open pieces of siding on the outside walls. Solex hangs his head low, his hands resting on his hips as beads of sweat drip from his forehead and landon the dirt-covered, barnwood floor beneath him. His chest heaves, rising and falling as he fights to catch his breath.
“Goddamnit,” Solex mutters to himself. He pulls the bottom of his white muscle tank and uses it to mop the sweat from his face, leaving streaks of dirt and grime on the overused shirt.
“Alright, son. Time to get on the bench,” Dick growls as he points his calloused finger to the bench situated across the room.
Solex looks over to the bench then back at his old man and rolls his eyes.
“Get me some water, you old prick,” Solex quips, his tone a mixture of annoyance and a bit of affection.
Dick stands up from his folding metal chair and snarls at his son. He looks back at the chair and hoists it into the air in front of him before slamming it shut with a resounding clang that echoes throughout the barn. His eyes stay locked on Solex the entire time.
“Do it…” Dick roars, his voice carrying a low but intense volume.
Solex bursts out into a fit of laughter at his old man’s dramatic display.
“What the fuck are you doing? You gonna hit me with that thing, old man? Make a fuckin’ move!” Solex throws his arms out to his side and mocks his dad.
Dick looks Solex up and down before tossing the chair to the floor.
“You’re not worth my time anymore, son,” Dick says as he turns his back on his son and heads toward the exit.
Solex furrows his eyebrows and gives a sarcastic grows on his face as he shouts out, “What the fuck does that mean?”
Dicks stops at the threshold of the exit. A beam of light shines through the door and cuts a stark frame of the old man’s silhouette, outlining his aging – yet still muscular, figure. The old man hangs his head as he grabs ahold of the door frame with his right arm. He peers over his shoulder and glares back at his son.
“It means you ain’t got it. You ain’t got one fuckin’ piece of of it left. You’re out of gas. You’re old. You’re weak. You’re the shell of a once great wrestler! You’ve gone soft, son. It comes with age,” Dick says, his tone still low but somehow booming.
Solex is taken aback. His eyes widen as a frown tugs at the corner of his mouth. Solex shakes his head in disbelief as he continues to stare at his father.
“Are you trying to tell me…you old fuck…that I don’t have it, anymore? Is that what the fuck you’re trying to tell me?!” Solex shouts down his old man as he clenches his fists and grits his teeth.
Dick scoffs at his son and says, “I’m not trying anything. I’m straight up fuckin’ tellin’ you, son. You. Don’t. Have. It. Anymore. Capiché?”
Dick raises his eyebrows as he waits for Solex’s response. Solex doesn’t give him one, however, and just places his hands on his hips. He loses himself in thought for a moment, but then in a field of blurs his vision focuses on the bench press right across the room; the one his dad had pointed to a few moments ago. Solex’s eyes light up as he pounces in the direction of the bench.
“500 fuckin’ pounds,” Solex says as he wipes the dust off of the bench with his bare hand. “I’ll show you who doesn’t have it.”
Solex quickly takes his position under the bar. He looks up at his old man, who’s still in the same spot in the exit.
“Watch this, ya’ old bitch!” Solex exclaims with a shit eating grin plastered across his face.
Solex grabs the cold, steel, Olympic bar and grips it tightly. His knuckles whiten as he moves to prove a point. He lets out a grunt as he hoists the bar free of its holds. The Olympic bar bends under the weight of the plates on either end. Solex’s arms begin to shake as he slowly lowers to bar down to his chest. As soon as the bar touches his chest, Solex uses every bit of strength to lift the weight back to the up position.
But he can’t.
The vein on his forehead bulges from his skin as he struggles to lift the bar a few inches from his chest. His face begins to turn a deep red as beads of sweat begin to form all around his face. Solex lets out a deep breath, his arms give out and suddenly he’s found himself trapped under 500 pounds of steel weight. Solex smartly realizes that the weight isn’t clipped in, and he begins to squirm as he fights to tilt the bar off of his chest in order to slide the weight off.
Suddenly, two forty-five pound plates slide off the bar and clang down to the floor and like a bullet from a gun, the bar swings in the other direction and more weight crashes to the ground.
“Fuck,” Solex mutters to himself as he tries to get his breath back.
Dick slowly walks over to Solex. He stands over his son and shakes his head in disgust.
“What the fuck did I just tell you? You stubborn sack of shit,” Dick turns to leave, but on a dime, he stops, turns and points a finger right in Solex’s face and leans over him.
“You’re finished!” Dick shouts right in Solex’s face, as he nudges his finger into Solex’s cheek.
“You’re fighting a Kostoff, on Sunday night you can’t even bench 500 pounds? Call Lee Best right fucking now, and cancel this match before you get killed!” Dick commands, spit and drool flying from his mouth as he shouts at his son.
Solex steadies his breath and sits up in the bench.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about, you old son of a bitch. This Kostoff…he’s not THE Kostoff. He’s just a Kostoff. I beat the shit out of this kid a couple of weeks ago, I know what he;’s about…and it ain’t shit. Not being able to push that weight doesn’t change the fact that I am way out of this kid’s league. He’s got no fuckin’ business in the ring with me. Just like you’ve got no business left at this house.”
DIck doesn’t flinch. He doesn’t show any hint of emotion. He doesn’t say a word. He just turns and heads toward the exit.
“My career has been in the fuckin’ shitter since you came around, can’t you see that?!” Solex shouts to his father as the older Solex continues toward the exit as the scene fades to black.